It’s no surprise to anyone who follows her on social media, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is an advocate for many things: eating disorder awareness, mental health initiatives and gender equality. So her followers may have gotten quite a surprise to find her most recent post was an early call to all women this International Women’s Day to “celebrate the boys and men in our lives…”
Her caption read: “Are you ready to ignite change? This week, as we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect, and who aren’t afraid to speak up in front of others. Take a picture holding hands with your male ally & share it on social media using the hashtag #TomorrowInHand. Together, we can create a movement that inspires more men to join the fight to build a better tomorrow with equal rights & opportunities for everyone… because #EqualityMatters.”
While her followers seemed to embrace the post, there were a number of people who were not happy about her call to action. In fact, a lot of people wondered if her encouragement to “ignite change” was actually doing the polar opposite.
Well, pretty disappointed in the Facebook post from Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. The point of International Women's Day is not to celebrate men.
— Ciara (at Midnight) (@lostatmidnight) March 7, 2017
— Megan Harvey (@MeganRoseHarvey) March 7, 2017
I have so many questions about Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. Does she not have any friends? Doesn't she have a PR person?
— Belle Weather (@DamnUnwitty) March 7, 2017
— Nate Wallace ???? (@HappySisyphus) March 7, 2017
Grégoire Trudeau and Prime Minister Trudeau have both been firm advocates for gender equality, with the Prime Minister making past statements about the importance of women’s rights movements — but her most likely well-intentioned post seemed to completely miss the mark.
One Conservative MP in Calgary weighed in on Grégoire Trudeau’s post, questioning what is truly being celebrated on International Women’s Day.
Happy IWD, is all about JT? https://t.co/X4pY3ehUt1
— Michelle Rempel (@MichelleRempel) March 7, 2017
While comments from her followers were mostly positive, people were definitely questioning how celebrating men would make gender equality more prominent of an issue on International Women’s Day.
“Why do we have to celebrate men on International Women’s Day? I am puzzled. There are so many things that can be done to celebrate women, and yet the call goes out to celebrating men. Allies are crucial, but so is womanhood,” one user commented.
This day of recognition is a day to ignite change – and there are better ways to do so than celebrating the men in your life. Fingers crossed this social media storm inspires users to have their voices heard this International Women’s Day – pushing for gender equality around the world.